[Air-L] Twitter use in Congress

Lee Humphreys lmh13 at cornell.edu
Sun Feb 14 14:34:25 PST 2010

I thought some of you might be interested in this report about the use  
of Twitter by Congress members: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41066.pdf

 From the summary:
"After providing an overview and background of Twitter, the report  
analyzes patterns of Member use of Twitter during August and September  
2009. This report is inherently a snapshot in time of a dynamic  
process. As with any new technology, the number of Members using  
Twitter and the patterns of use may change rapidly in short periods of  
time. Thus, the conclusions drawn from this data can not be easily  
generalized nor can these results be used to predict future behavior.
The data show that 205 Representatives and Senators are registered  
with Twitter (as of September 30, 2009) and issued a total of 7,078  
“tweets” during the data collection period of August and September  
2009. With approximately 38% of House Members and 39% of Senators  
registered with Twitter, Members sent an average of 116 tweets per day  
collectively. Members’ use of Twitter can be divided into eight  
categories: position taking, policy, district or state activities,  
official congressional action, personal, media, campaign activities,  
and other. The data suggest that the most frequent type of tweets were  
district or state tweets (24%), followed by policy tweets (23%), media  
tweets (14%), and position-taking tweets (14%)."


Lee Humphreys, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Communication and
Program of Information Science
Cornell University
305 Kennedy Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

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